Skeptic News: ‘Homeopaths’ lack of clinical knowledge can be dangerous’

From: The Express Tribune

For the first time ever, an allopath – a doctor who treats illnesses by conventional means, set foot inside the Karachi Municipal Corporation Homeopathic Hospital and shared her clinical experience with its students.

Dr Rehana Mohammad Ali Shah, Pakistan’s first female orthopedic surgeon, happily agreed to share her knowledge with the hospital’s students, graduates and doctors. The lecture was jointly organised by the hospital, Lions Club International and the Health and Hygiene Society. Dr Shah talked about bone-related illnesses.

On the occasion, Dr Rasheed Vayani, the hospital’s medical superintendent, lamented the state of homeopathy in the country. Some people denigrate it and do not set much store by the treatment that it offers. At present, students equipped with just a Matric science certificate can secure admission into a homeopathic college and after spending four years there, leave with the title of ‘doctor’. They can start practicing individually after fulfilling the six-month house job requirement set by the National Council for Homeopathy.

“There is no check on the house jobs as well. Any registered doctor can issue a letter to nominate a person for individual practice,” said Dr Vayani. There are 13 colleges in the city where homeopathy is taught. Between 1,500 and 1,800 people graduate from them every year, without enough knowledge to make a proper diagnosis or experience in a hospital. Dr Vayani said that homeopaths in Pakistan not only try to dissuade patients from opting for surgeries but often stop them from taking conventional drugs. “If patients who take medicines for high blood pressure or diabetes are asked to do this, they may die since [homeopathic] drugs act slowly,” he said.

He said that while homeopathic treatment is generally reliable, there are a few diseases which it cannot cure. He said that homeopath’s lack of clinical knowledge can be dangerous.

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